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  • Opt-in Prerelease for 1.1!


    Ted
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    Hi all,

     

    As I'm sure many of you read, 1.1 is to enter Experimentals this week! It's a significant update to KSP in terms of just how much has changed under the hood. We've done a complete overhaul of the user interface from a conglomerate of interface systems to Unity 5's native system. Aside from that, an entirely new system for the wheels had to be adopted due to the major changes Unity made to the native wheels system, and the list goes on!

     

    Quality Assurance is the most bare bone part of the entire testing process and is performed by around five to ten QA testers pretty much constantly. The focussed testing and efficiency mean that instead of going through the motions of the game as a normal player would, QA tends to identify areas of the new content that would usually be prone to issue and hunt for bugs there. This cuts down the time taken to find issues by a significant margin and means that the content is tested more evenly – playtesting can sometimes skip completely past some aspects of a feature. Furthermore, this method allows the testers to work closely with the developers and compare exactly what they intended to occur for specific cases, to what actually occurs – this is where QA becomes more about feedback.

     

    QA is a lot more than just finding bugs. It’s about having the knowledge of the game (especially how it works under-the-hood), the comprehension of the ideas behind the features in the game, the understanding of what a developer wants the feature to turn out like and how you can assist them in making it happen. Furthermore, it’s about condensing all of that into concise and objectively written issue reports.

     

    The QA process on 1.1 has been going for a long time, but it has been incredibly fruitful: crushing 516 issues in 107 builds! There is still more to do however, in Experimentals we hope to only increase the stability of the game, add polish to areas and carry out some bug fixing as always!

     

    The Experimental Team comprises about 100 testers. All of these testers are volunteers who contribute their spare time to playtest the game. They are normal players, sourced from the various communities via a simple application process. Often and understandably they don’t have as much spare time to devote to testing as the QA Testers and thus there are significantly more Experimental Testers ‘signed up’ than we need at any one time. This works in everyone’s favour as it keeps the activity level throughout an Experimental Phase and doesn’t put pressure on the testers while they also deal with their personal and professional lives.

     

    After we have an update go through QA, as detailed above, it is hopefully free from major issues and each feature has had any needed major improvements and refinements carried out; the update is in a feature-complete state. However, many components of a feature may still be unpolished, such as part balancing, or the performance of newer UI on different platforms. This is where Experimental Testing comes in and assists the developers in cleaning up the remaining feedback issues.

    An Experimental Testing phase typically lasts around a couple of weeks, though it is highly dependent on the number of issues that arise and how much further development is required to reach a release state. At the end of the Experimental phase, there are still a fair amount of issues on the tracker that are still open, but it’s important to note that these issues are typically minor ones, ones that aren’t in the scope of the update or simply issues that would take too much time and resources to resolve.

     

    This time around though, things will get even more interesting after Experimental testing! Given that update 1.1 will be unlike any update we’ve seen to date in terms of widespread changes to pretty much any significant and underlying system in the game we're planning to provide an optional pre-release branch of update 1.1. This opt-in branch will run for just under two full weeks before the targeted release date of the final update.

     

    The nature and extent of the changes in the update mean that many plugins and add-ons will require refactoring, updating and at the very least a recompile. Of course modders cannot do this overnight and on the flick of a switch, especially with an update of this scope. Typically a select group of particularly KSP-savvy modders would be given access to the new update to help us find bugs, but the extent of the changes this time around is such that we feel we should open it up to everyone.

     

    The pre-release branch will be opt-in via Steam only, and won't be available via the KSP Store. We really wanted to make the pre-release branch available on all distribution channels but given the frequency of builds, the size of those builds, and the necessity for everyone to be on the latest version for testing it proved to be impossible to facilitate this on the KSP store.

     

    To facilitate discussions of the pre-release branch we’ll be opening up a temporary forum for feedback. Additionally, a separate section will be made available on the bug tracker to report bugs on.

     

    Please feel free to ask any and all questions you have!

     

     

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    3 minutes ago, KasperVld said:

    I would like to quote this for its truth :)

    I would be honored!!

    (uh, I need to sit down and stop hyper-ventilating, KasperVld liked my post! I'm not worthy...)

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    2 hours ago, Talavar said:

    I generally download ksp in about 3-5 minutes.. That aside, the game will not update while you are already playing it, and it will only sync files that have changed when it does update. You don't have to completely re-download the entire game every time it updates.. only a few files that have been altered.

    I meant if you had to wait to be in the cue to download.

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    I'm retired (71 in September) and play PC games almost every day. I have 416 hours on KSP and have been waiting for the Unity 5/1.1 update for months. My last job was a multimedia specialist for the Fed's. I have an extensive background in computer program development and am willing to give my utmost attention to bug isolation and resolution. Please count me in ...

    Steam KSP - 2013

    System specs (oldie but goodie):

    Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP2
    Intel Core 2 Quad 9550, 2.83
    8 GB DDR 2
    GTX750Ti, 2048 DDR5
    Sandisk SSD, 60 GB, (dedicated to: KSP and Space Engineers)

    Connection - Download: 90.78 Mbps, Upload: 25.12 Mbps

     

    Edited by Dr. Zarkov
    Connection speed inclusion ...
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    Hey Ted, could we get any information about the shader change in 1.1? Is it going to be the Unity 5 Standard Shader plus a few modifications for edge lighting/hilighting or will there be any other changes/textures? Will the texture slots and channels be the same as Unity 5's Standard shader?

     

    Are any of the stock parts and textures being "PBR"ized or are they just going to be switched over to the new shader with existing texture assets for this build?

     

    Having this information beforehand would be nice for modders who are interested in working on some of this stuff.

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    Glad I bought it on both platforms  - Steam and SQUAD Shop. But can't find the option @Steam to opt-in. 

    It offers only "none" or "previous stable release"

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    40 minutes ago, Sadbot said:

    Hey Ted, could we get any information about the shader change in 1.1? Is it going to be the Unity 5 Standard Shader plus a few modifications for edge lighting/hilighting or will there be any other changes/textures? Will the texture slots and channels be the same as Unity 5's Standard shader?

     

    Are any of the stock parts and textures being "PBR"ized or are they just going to be switched over to the new shader with existing texture assets for this build?

     

    Having this information beforehand would be nice for modders who are interested in working on some of this stuff.

    PBR is delayed to a later update. It's gonna use Unity5 metalness workflow and texture packing will be slightly different than default, but otherwise it's pretty much identical in looks to the standard shader. As for the assets, at first shaders will be switched to a kind of 'semi-PBR' that reuses the existing texture inputs as good as possible (works really well, and basically this will also auto-update modded parts, you might only wanna fine tune specular maps a bit, they'll have a much more apparent effect in the PBR lighting model), then rocketry and spaceplane parts are beeing updated to fully fledged PBR, requiring new occlusion and metallic maps which are luckily easy to derive from the existing layered source files. Other parts will later follow as necessary.
     

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    2 hours ago, Darkstar One said:

    Glad I bought it on both platforms  - Steam and SQUAD Shop. But can't find the option @Steam to opt-in. 

    It offers only "none" or "previous stable release"

    It's... Not... Ready.... Yet. As has been said several times in the comments and in the OP, the pre release will happen after experimentals, which haven't even started yet (to my knowledge). 

    Edited by FullMetalMachinist
    Experimentals are here! Quick, to the hype-train!
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    5 minutes ago, SuperFastJellyfish said:

    You just posted in a 23 page thread without the wherewithal to read even this page's posts?...kids these days.  :(

    Now now, no need to go and childishly remark. We're all cool here, OK? I just can't read walla of text on screens. No joke, it's actually serious.

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    I guess they are going to just dismiss all the hard feeling with a "maybe next time".  Squad owe them much more than that, a long winded apology at the very least.
     I have been on the forums since 2012 and I have to say this is the first time I have ever been ashamed of Squad.

    Rengigin on a promise to some of your most loyal customers is going to have consequences, and I don't think any of them will be good.
     I for one probably won't be buying that second copy I was planning on getting for my daughter this summer.  The EDU version.  You betray your fans loyalty and do not be surprised if they are no longer loyal.

    PS.  Ya ya I know what they are doing is legal, and it technically does not fall within the letter of the promise, but it very much is within the spirit that any ordinary person would understand.

    PPS.  I can in fact take part in the pre-release if I want, it is not for my personal gain that I am upset with squad.  Squad chose to treat some of their customers as second class citizens and that is wrong, that is why I am upset.

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    1 hour ago, mcirish3 said:

    I guess they are going to just dismiss all the hard feeling with a "maybe next time".  Squad owe them much more than that, a long winded apology at the very least.
     I have been on the forums since 2012 and I have to say this is the first time I have ever been ashamed of Squad.

    Rengigin on a promise to some of your most loyal customers is going to have consequences, and I don't think any of them will be good.
     I for one probably won't be buying that second copy I was planning on getting for my daughter this summer.  The EDU version.  You betray your fans loyalty and do not be surprised if they are no longer loyal.

    PS.  Ya ya I know what they are doing is legal, and it technically does not fall within the letter of the promise, but it very much is within the spirit that any ordinary person would understand.

    PPS.  I can in fact take part in the pre-release if I want, it is not for my personal gain that I am upset with squad.  Squad chose to treat some of their customers as second class citizens and that is wrong, that is why I am upset.

    [snip] I'm assuming you haven't read the last part of this OP. It states they can't put the pre-release onto other services mainly because they are 

    A: Inefficient
    B: Insuffcient

    It's just not within their abilities.

    54 minutes ago, SpaceplaneAddict said:

     Squad chose to treat some of their customers as second class citizens and that is wrong, that is why I am upset.

    Plus, they didn't choose it. They were forced by circumstances.

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    33 minutes ago, SpaceplaneAddict said:

    Listen pal. I'm assuming you haven't read the last part of this OP. It states they can't put the pre-release onto other services mainly because they are 

    A: Inefficient
    B: Insuffcient

    It's just not within their abilities.

    Plus, they didn't choose it. They were forced by circumstances.

    A.  I have read not only the OP but nearly every post in this thread hence PS and PPS, I have already seen all the arguments and am well acquainted with the facts.
    B. Convenience and efficiency is not justification for treating customers different,  against an implied promise I might add, (see PS) just becuase they bought from a different source.

    The right thing would have been to find a different way to do it, even if that meant taking longer to release 1.1.(again not arguing for myself, see PPS)  Now they are over a barrel, it's not like they can take away the open release with out upsetting even more users.  SO the right thing now? bare minimum, a long winded apology to their users instead of a dismissive "well maybe next time".  What would be better, a lot more expensive but better, would be for Squad to pony up the cost of giving all users who bought through the store after the cut off a licence to transfer to steam just like the one I currently have.

     Then they would seem like the guys who when they had to make their licence more restrictive did not apply it retroactively and even indicated that not only all future updates, but all expansions as well, would be given for free to these very loyal early users, even though they did not legally have to do that, they did it becuase it was the right thing to do.    That was the Squad I admired, that was the Squad that had my very concrete loyalty.  Now not so much, I still love the game, but I no longer trust Squad.

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    1 hour ago, mcirish3 said:

    Squad to pony up the cost of giving all users who bought through the store after the cut off a licence to transfer to steam just like the one I currently have.

    Alright, pls no hate me for this, but I'm genuinely curious. Didn't they do that?

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    15 minutes ago, SpaceplaneAddict said:

    Alright, pls no hate me for this, but I'm genuinely curious. Didn't they do that?

    Not going to hate ya, but boy would this argument be silly if that is what they had already done.

    No, people who bought the game through the KSP store between (don't quote me on this, my memory is not accurate) September 2013 and the present can not transfer to stream without purchasing a second copy via steam.

    Edit: also there are some other sources for the game other than Steam and the KSP store that have been excluded as well, though I think this is a much smaller group.  I would advocate for all of them to be able to transfer to steam, Prohibitively expensive, without a doubt, doesn't mean it is not the right thing to do just the same.

    Edited by mcirish3
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    3 minutes ago, mcirish3 said:

    No, people who bought the game through the KSP store between (don't quote me on this, my memory is not accurate) September 2013 and the present can not transfer to stream without purchasing a second copy via steam.

    Well that sucks. I totally agree with ya, on the part of reiumbursing KSP-StoreERs for a steam copy limitless-ly. I mean, really, they bought a legit copy, just not from steam. Why not let them transfer to? *confused*

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    Just now, SpaceplaneAddict said:

    Well that sucks. I totally agree with ya, on the part of reiumbursing KSP-StoreERs for a steam copy limitless-ly. I mean, really, they bought a legit copy, just not from steam. Why not let them transfer to? *confused*

    really? is this confirmed? u cant get a steam copy if u bought it early enough? well, regardless, i think it this pre-release was mainly for the modders ,no? because they can use it too update the mods? and i think most modders use steam?

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    19 minutes ago, SpaceplaneAddict said:

    Well that sucks. I totally agree with ya, on the part of reiumbursing KSP-StoreERs for a steam copy limitless-ly. I mean, really, they bought a legit copy, just not from steam. Why not let them transfer to? *confused*

    Because, at the time that the transfer ability was removed, the licensing was changed, and Squad promised they would treat all users exactly the same for all releases. This Pre-release is technically not a release so technically it does not fall under the "Legal contract".  But Both the users and Squad at the time never foresaw the current situation and any reasonable person would argue that this is a reneging on Squad's part of the spirit of the contract.

    17 minutes ago, 123nick said:

    really? is this confirmed? u cant get a steam copy if u bought it early enough? well, regardless, i think it this pre-release was mainly for the modders ,no? because they can use it too update the mods? and i think most modders use steam?

    Actually it is the in betweeners that can't get the game on steam.  People who bought too late not people like you and I who bought early.  Squad has treated us fairly, I can not complain about my own treatment.  If you bought a second copy on the KSP store today you would not be able to transfer it to steam.

    Edit:  I am not sure how many modders use steam, my impression is that majority don't use steam.  But that may not be accurate at all it is only a gut feeling.

    Edited by mcirish3
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    As you would know if you had read the earlier pages in the thread, the option to convert store purchases into Steam keys was a limited deal, as a courtesy, when Steam first added KSP. But after that deal ended, more than two years ago, Squad is not free to give keys away because they are Steam's merchandise. It will not happen, so let's please not get caught up in that argument again. 

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